I haven’t posted a blog recently because of Hurricane Harvey. He’s kept us busy the last two weeks.

When a hurricane first hits, you worry about your safety. Once it becomes reasonably clear you are safe, you start checking on others.

I’ve been way too occupied with Harvey to write anything. It wouldn’t matter anyway because my good friend, John Graves, who helps me with this blog, was severely flooded. So I can’t post if I can’t think.


Harvey cots

Sunday assembling cots at George R Brown

When Hurricane Harvey closed Houston on Sunday, everyone was stuck in their home. I live across the street from the George R Brown Convention Center where the city opened its first evacuation facility. No one else in town could get there to help, so we walked across the park and spent the day assembling cots.

Sunday there were 1,000 cots. Monday, there were 5,000. Tuesday, 9,000. Sorting donated clothes was how I spent Tuesday.


Tuesday’s donated clothes at George R Brown Convention Center

The dilemma I’ve dealt with during the week was whether to write about it on social media. I decided that encouraging people to help, supporting those that are helping, and letting others around the country know what was happening on the ground were good reasons to put what I was doing on social media.


Friends and strangers helping other friends and strangers

Everything you’ve read about people helping each other in the Houston area is true. It’s been one of the greatest inspirational experiences of my entire life.

It’s not fun helping. It’s dirty, and it stinks, and the next morning muscles hurt and you have blisters on your arms and hands. But you have to do it. These people, some your friends and some you’ve never met, need help. They’re overwhelmed, and you have to help them get their lives moving again.


Harvey aftermath

Neighborhoods cleaning up

Beginning Wednesday, my wife and I shifted over to helping people clean up their homes, including emptying rooms and pulling carpet. Everywhere we’ve been, I’ve seen hope and promise. Sometimes, people are so devastated that they don’t see the hope. You have to see the light for them, and show it to them.

If you’re close, go help your neighbor. If you’re not near Houston, you will have other opportunities to get personally involved when people are devastated. Do it. You need it.

3 thoughts on “Harvey”

  1. Thanks for this blog! I am very proud of you and Melinda and the help you have given many this week! I also liked some of your posts on Facebook regarding Texans. Please keep us up to date on Houston’s progress from your point of view.

  2. I sent my donation of cash in through one of the on-line relief organizations, because I’m too far away from Houston to roll up my sleeves and get to work like you and Melinda have. I also went out this week and helped the local elementary school unpack their boxes of books that had been packed away to allow for fresh paint, carpet, and a new HVAC system. Friday morning I went over to my friend’s house and helped her pull out blackberry vines that have overtaken her small yard and overwhelmed her house. I have plenty of my own yard work to do, but she needed help, so I did what I could.

    You’re right about volunteering: it does help the other person, but it feels so good to be part of the solution. I quote you: You can sit around and watch TV, or you can go out and help. Thanks for leading by example. I know you do it because it’s the right thing to do. We need more people who will do the same.

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